Journey with Confidence RV GPS App RV Trip Planner RV LIFE Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Take a Speed Test Free 7 Day Trial ×
RV Trip Planning Discussions

Go Back   iRV2 Forums > TRAVEL TRAILER, 5th WHEEL & TRUCK CAMPER FORUMS > 5th Wheel Discussion
Click Here to Login
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on iRV2
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 10-28-2018, 11:40 AM   #1
Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 76
How off-road can you go with a 5th wheel?

Considering a lite weight 5th wheel and was just wondering what kind of roads/tracks are possible to safely travel over with a 5th wheel attached? How does that compare to a regular bumper pull trailer? I am guessing that really rough roads would be out as that would put too much strain on the pin attachment to the truck bed. Iím a total novice when it comes to 5th wheels so appreciate the help so I donít end up ruining truck and/or trailer!
Lstyles is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free! RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 10-28-2018, 11:54 AM   #2
Senior Member
Old-Biscuit's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 24,706
Issue you will encounter is truck bed clearance and 5th wheel overhang

Truck off level one direction and 5th wheel going the other direction ends up with 5vr overhang making contact with truck bed rail

I have 7" of bed rail clearance and have come close to making contact from some off chamber transitions.

You can go off-road just take it slow BUT you can NOT go 4 wheeling.
So if 'road' will cause truck to jack back/forth it is WAY too much for dragging 5th wheel along

Bumper pull is more compatible for off-roading
Bumper pull is behind truck and rotating on the ball
I took my Medication today. HAVE YOU?
Dodge 3500 w/Tractor Motor & NUWA 5vr
US NAVY---USS Decatur DDG-31
Old-Biscuit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2018, 06:40 PM   #3
Senior Member
MtCamper's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Montana, Arizona
Posts: 1,245
As a rule light weight=smaller components. Not the big beefy ones needed for off-road travel for sure. Off-road isn't just a gravel road. Off road is one rutted lane with obstacles.
2016 Arctic Fox 27-5L
2022 Chevy 3500 Duramax
2018 JLUR
MtCamper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2018, 07:36 PM   #4
5001craig's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 73
Truck bed clearance comes to mind. Anything can work but it takes planning and $$.

This pic was found on the interweb...

2018 Ram 3500 CTD Limited SRW CC LB

2005 Jayco Designer 31RKS
5001craig is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2018, 08:03 PM   #5
Senior Member
egwilly's Avatar
Forest River Owners Club
Ford Super Duty Owner
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: So Calif
Posts: 3,361
Depending on your truck and hitch, the trailer's pin box comes to mind. There is a point you can over-stress the pin box and welds will fail. This is bad.

Large rolling hump and bumps are one thing, potholes and very uneven dirt roads are another. Slow and easy is the best.

Another consideration is, where does the trail lead? Can you make all the turns pulling a trailer? How about turnouts in case you meet someone coming the opposite direction? Can you backup long distances? Google Satellite pics are your friend here.

Your best judgment will guide won't feel right if the road isn't right.
2020 Coachmen Leprechaun 270QB (COA Member)
Jeep Wrangler toad for the dirt
ďStick around please...I may need someone to blame.Ē
egwilly is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2018, 09:05 AM   #6
Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 76
Thanks for all the comments...I had not considered the issue with the bed rails. Seems like pothole and going too fast are to be avoided but a gravel road without holes would be okay. Also a good point about being able to turn around or back up once you are there!
Lstyles is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2018, 11:01 AM   #7
Senior Member
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: SLC, UT
Posts: 1,168
Forest roads, gravel roads are usually just fine. You do need to watch for bed rail clearance (I've touched a few times) in large divots or washes and general vibration and harshness. No point in vibrating the trailer to pieces right?

The big issues I've found is tree clearance on some forest roads, or cactus clearance on Desert roads, and a place to turn around.

It pays to drop the trailer and use the truck to explore and find that perfect spot - and again, wide open dirt/gravel roads fine, anything rutted that you wouldn't take your commuter sedan on, not so much. I struggle with this as I was an avid 4x4 car camper before I got into 5th wheels - basically if it didn't require 4low to get there, I wasn't interested in being there.
Now - with a big 1 ton and a 5th wheel, I just want smooth and easy....
2017 F-350 6.7 Diesel, CCSB SRW - formerly 2005 KR 6.0
2018 Alpine 3660FL - formerly 2005 Alfa SYF30RLIK
--Full time 2016 to 2019-- Seasonal now
mrgrayaz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2018, 11:05 AM   #8
Senior Member
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: SLC, UT
Posts: 1,168
Three pictures:

First picture: Forest road in Flagstaff AZ - this is about as "offroad" as you want. Nice,open, wide, graded, dirt road. Easy turn around, plenty of room.

Second and Third Picture: Unimproved road on the way to a campsite in New Mexico. This one was a bad idea. Road was narrow, Not enough room to turn around, lots of time spent avoiding cactus and Arizona pin stripes. It probably took me an hour plus to get out of this site with all 8 tires intact and no plant/cactus body scrapes. Also a WICKED washed out cattle guard, that I touched my bedrails to the trailer on (notice the cows just walked around the washed out cattle guard...)

Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_20180520_094604000.jpg
Views:	361
Size:	392.0 KB
ID:	224295   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_20180225_170448550_HDR.jpg
Views:	327
Size:	385.5 KB
ID:	224296  

Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_20180226_080335847.jpg
Views:	294
Size:	597.2 KB
ID:	224298  
2017 F-350 6.7 Diesel, CCSB SRW - formerly 2005 KR 6.0
2018 Alpine 3660FL - formerly 2005 Alfa SYF30RLIK
--Full time 2016 to 2019-- Seasonal now
mrgrayaz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2018, 11:18 AM   #9
Senior Member
Mr_D's Avatar
Country Coach Owners Club
Solo Rvers Club
iRV2 No Limits Club
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Vancouver, WA
Posts: 37,725
Seems like the answer is the same as with a motorhome. You can as far as you can, till you can't.
2009 45' Magna 630 w/Cummins ISX 650 HP/1950 Lbs Ft, HWH Active Air
Charter Good Sam Lifetime Member, FMCA,
RV'ing since 1957, NRA Benefactor Life, towing '21 Jeep JLU Rubicon Ecodiesel
Mr_D is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2018, 04:40 PM   #10
Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 76
Thanks for the visuals! On the bottom photo the road doesnít look so bad but itís narrow with lots of potential cactus scratches as you say. I hadnít considered those aspects of going off road...better to learn from here than (bad) real world experience!
Lstyles is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2018, 10:10 PM   #11
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Oregon
Posts: 1,044
I definitely agree that bed rail clearance is one of the most important factors. Clearance at the rear bumper is also important. I have 8" of rail clearance and have had my 35' 5th wheel in some pretty rugged spots. Worst thing that ever happened is I ripped a jack and the spare tire off the back. I knew it was close and I had a friend/spotter standing by.... silently as I did said damage

Every 5th is different and every truck/5th setup has a different amount of rail clearance so a lot depends on your setup.
mtofell is offline   Reply With Quote

5th wheel

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Road Warrior 5th Wheel Toy Hauler :: 2018 Heartland Road Warrior 427 Quinn iRV2 Owners Registry 0 05-08-2018 05:01 PM
Can we go yet, Can we go yet, Can we go yet, Can we go yet, Can we go yet mothgrey Class A Motorhome Discussions 9 11-18-2013 04:51 PM
How far can you Off-road (off paved roads) with a short (under 34Ē) DP? Chuck33 Class A Motorhome Discussions 32 12-10-2012 06:57 PM
Off-off-off road campers lllkrob General Discussion 3 08-06-2012 12:48 PM
5th Wheel--can't power slideout/refrig yet can power microwave, wall outlets. Huhhh?? doodlebug52 5th Wheel Discussion 9 04-28-2009 09:47 PM

» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:50 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2023, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.